“I read my eyes out and can’t read half enough…the more one reads the more one sees we have to read.” ― John Adams
As modern researchers we can resonate with Adams’ 1841 comment. The more we read, the more we need to read in order to make sense of the empirical basis of studies and the outcomes. We often need to go beyond simply reading articles, student papers, theses or dissertations because we are responsible for evaluating them. Was the study significant and contribute new knowledge to the field? Was the research designed well? Was the approach suitable for answering the question or proving the hypothesis? Did the study respect accepted principles for the methodology used?
We would like to be experts in all methodologies and methods, but even the most diligent among us has limitations. Francis Dane’s new edition of Evaluating Research: Methodology for People Who Need to Read Research might come in handy. While ostensibly a textbook, it can also serve as a useful professional reference—especially for new academics or reviewers who want to stretch beyond familiar research traditions. Two chapters are freely available: Chapter 1: Introduction, and Chapter 6: Experimental Research.
Adams, C. F. (Ed.) (2011). Letters of John Adams, addressed to his wife. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press